A thrill-seeking tourist was killed on a Caribbean island after the powerful blast from a departing plane blew her off her feet, according to a report.
The unidentified 57-year-old New Zealand woman was holding onto the fence at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport — just steps away from the beach — when the jet blast from the Trinidad-bound Boeing 737 threw her backwards, causing her to hit her head on the concrete pavement, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The woman was vacationing with her family when the incident occurred Wednesday around 6 p.m. local time, the report said.
Emergency responders rushed to the woman’s aid, but she could not be saved.
The island’s Maho Beach is a popular spot for tourists to gather for the nail-biting thrill of low-flying planes nearly skimming beach-goers as they descend on the runway.
There are “danger” signs posted up on the fence outside the airport warning tourists of the jet blast and standing too close to the fence.
“Jet blast of departing and arriving aircraft can cause severe physical harm resulting in extreme bodily harm and/or death,” the signage reads.
St. Marteen’s director of tourism, Rolando Brison, told the Herald that he spoke to the victim’s family.
“While they recognized that what they did was wrong, through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way,” he said.
“At this time I only wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones while we continue to investigate what transpired just hours ago.”
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to the Herald that the agency was investigating “reports that a New Zealand citizen has passed away in St. Maarten.”